Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lord, what would you have me to do?

7:42 p.m. Today's project was to join my fellow caregivers for our first monthly support group potluck. Our facilitator Darlene, on staff with the Riverside Office of Aging, guided us through the very impressive agency website. There's even a section to post notices,which I might take advantage of since we still don't have a renter for our extra room.

Earlier this morning, I was working on our church's new Bible study for the season, The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz. We are studying the life of Abraham inductively, a study method which I have been using for decades, in which the reader pulls meaning out of Bible verses, and then asks a question of oneself. The first verse of Day One was Genesis 12:1 (NIV):

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."

Factually, God called Abram to leave his life in Ur and travel to an unknown destination. The lesson here is that God calls us to do His will regardless of what we want or feel comfortable doing. So the question I asked of myself with this verse was,

Lord, what do you want me to do?

With a disabled husband; grown children to encourage and assist as needed; ministries at church (Bible study, Heart to Home, and Helps); the garden and my Mary Kay business, all of which I enjoy tremendously and provide fellowship with other women or support for our household, that seems like an odd question to ask. But with the end of my spring/summer teaching of I Samuel, I find myself in a fresh new season. And suffering a physical attack of sciatica the last three weeks has naturally got me pondering whether something needs to give--one of my ministries or my business? Or my next garden? Or do I just need to use my time more prayerfully and efficiently? I confess to being slightly puzzled.

As I walked into the Riverside Office of Aging with my tropical fruit salad, I was hugged so tightly by one of the group members I hadn't seen for a month, and greeted just as warmly by the other women and our facilitator. We all set our dishes on the side counter, grabbed water and started catching up. Four of the gals had been at the Mary Kay spa party Mary Lou hosted, and I'd had follow up appointments with two others. Mary Lou was delighted to receive her hostess gift, too. A number of us have become close friends now, and already plan to attend a support group at the Encore senior center on Monday morning. Willie Mae's "Cornbread Salad" was a huge hit, as was Ginny's hash brown casserole and the carnitas Connie brought, even without the salsa and guacamole she forgot at home! Diana served lemon bars, Michele brought very tasty deviled eggs, and Elsie brought a pound cake. Mary Lou's pumpkin pie rounded out our feast.

It just felt like home. I really don't know how to describe the quiet but firm assurance that I am going to be involved with these ladies for a very long time. The Lord said to me, as we were all looking at informative flyers with caregiver education opportunities, "This is what I want you to do."

What did that mean? Just attend the group's events and keep learning how better to care for Steve? Step up and help organize some activities? Comfort and encourage the ladies, which God has already had me doing? Or receive comfort which I need just as badly as they do, if not more, since Steve is so young? Continue to share Christ with them all or one person in particular?

All of the above?

Imagine Abram traveling 400+ miles to an unknown place, probably asking fewer questions than I just did! That's why Abraham is called the "Father of faith!"Romans 4:3 says,

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

A wonderful peace came over me as our meeting went on, and I found myself, along with Mary Lou, volunteering to be a captain of our caregivers' team for the Walk to End Alzheimer's on October 30. Families and friends can participate, even dogs can do the walk at Cucamonga-Guasti Park in Rancho. The caregivers' group will include classes that are meeting at other times, so we could have up to 100 people. I excitedly sent email to our kids and their spouses as soon as I got home!

No telling where all this will lead. But as I obey God, I can trust His plan for my life, and be assured that He is leading me in the right direction!

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